We’re now approaching the centenary of Armistice Day in 1918, so this seems like an appropriate time to take stock of the cost of World War I for Scots who fought in it.

In this week’s podcast, we hear from project cataloguers Lynn Bruce and Olivia Howarth, who are currently cataloguing and preserving Scottish Military Pension Appeal records from the First World War.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, this project will open up pension appeal applications for around 30,000 Scottish servicemen who were injured during the war or who died afterwards from associated illnesses and conditions.

The collection is a fascinating insight into the personal lives of thousands of Scottish soldiers, containing detailed descriptions of their service as well as the effects that their experiences had on their lives and those of their families after the war was over, told in their own words or by the people who knew them best.

When the project is completed, it will be an incredible resource for research into social and military history by genealogists, military and medical historians, and interested members of the public.

We’ve included some of the most interesting documents that Lynn and Olivia refer to below with descriptions explaining their significance.

You can also find many examples of documents from the Pensions Tribunal by following NRS on Twitter, where you can find these and other records from this period under the hashtag #NRS100Days.

Pensions 3
Letter sent to the mother of Felix McMulkin.  Questioned by representatives of the Military Pensions Tribunal, soldiers present when he was killed gave a very different story.
Pensions 4
The Tribunal often made prejudiced assumptions about the soldiers whose cases it examined – here, in the cases of Cornelius Johnson and Alexander Douglas.
Churchill letter
Letter in support of W. Dobson’s application to the tribunal, sent on behalf of Winston Churchill, MP for Dundee.

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